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Low Tech Support for Students with Graphomotor problems.

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Presentation on theme: "Low Tech Support for Students with Graphomotor problems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Low Tech Support for Students with Graphomotor problems

2 Basic Prewriting Skills Having an established dominant hand. Having the ability to grasp a pencil Being able to adequately reproduce simple shapes, including those with diagonal lines. Being able to sit and attend for table top activities.

3 Posture Use appropriate desk and chair height. The desk height should be about 2” above the elbows (arms are by the child’s side with elbows slightly bent) when child is sitting upright. If the child is slumping forward, the desk might be too low; if the child is leaning back with his/her elbows raised up, the desk might be too high Make sure that the child’s feet touch the floor with hips and knees bent at 90 degrees. If it isn’t possible to use a properly fitting chair, a foot support may be made from one or more phone books. Tripp Trapp chairs are also available if necessary.

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5 If the child continues to have difficulty sitting upright in the chair when the desk and chair height are appropriate, encourage the child to rest his/her forearms on the desk during cutting, writing, drawing, coloring and other fine motor tasks.

6 Providing a slanted surface may help a child to sit up straight. You can use a commercially available slant board or a 3” or 4” three ring binder turned with the wide edge toward the back of the desk.

7 Check paper position. The paper should be parallel to the forearm of the child’s writing hand when the forearms are resting on the desk with hands clasped. For right handed children, the paper should be tilted slightly so the upper right corner is slightly higher. For left handed children, the upper left corner is slightly higher, which helps them keep their wrist straight rather than “hooking” the wrist. The non-dominant hand should be stabilizing the paper. If it isn’t, tape, or a clipboard with non- slip matting under it may keep the paper from sliding around.

8 Using a Move ‘n Sit cushion or Ball Chair facilitates upright posture in addition to providing movement opportunities. Non-slip matting on the seat of the chair may keep the child from slipping around on the chair.

9 Pencil Grasp The “ideal grasp” is the dynamic tripod grasp with an open web space.

10 Consider modifying the grasp when: –Muscle tension during handwriting causes fatigue –When it appears to be having a negative influence on handwriting proficiency (letter formation or speed) –When excessive pressure is used (breaking lead, holes in paper) –Better success in modifying grasp at younger ages. –Benbow—by second grade.

11 Poor Pencil Grasp Try a variety of pencil grips to see which one alleviates the problem and the child feels comfortable with. Place a strip of Velcro around the pencil and the opposite type of Velcro on the desk to keep track of them!

12 Short pencils, crayons and chalk encourage tripod grasp A larger diameter pencil, triangular pencils or marker may help. Markers, erasable pens, soft-lead pencils and mechanical pencils with strong (9mm) leads glide over paper more easily and discourage heavy pressure.

13 Crayons, grease pencils, or regular lead pencils increase friction, which may lead to better control if wavy lines or instability are an issue Writing on a vertical surface such as chalkboard, white board or paper taped to wall or board will encourage arm and hand stability and tripod grasp

14 Try an adapted tripod grasp (it looks strange but is very stable and works great): make a “V” with index and middle fingers; child places pencil between these fingers rather than between thumb and index finger, and holds pencil with these two fingers and the thumb. For kids who hold their pencil vertically, try making a wrist-band holder with 2 hair bands.

15 Have the child hold a small object in the last two fingers of his/her writing hand, such as a cosmetic sponge, midget tootsie roll, small eraser etc. for short periods of time to facilitate tripod grasp. Use tools such as tweezers, tongs, pickle tool to manipulate small objects.

16 Visual-Motor Problems Highlight margins with markers (green for left margin and red for right) Draw a double black line over the left margin If a child has difficulty folding paper in half, place a colored dot on each corner so they can match the corners. Outline pictures to be colored with glue (ahead of time)

17 Emphasize the kinesthetic aspect of writing, having the child practice writing with his/her eyes closed to encourage “feeling” how the letters are formed. Attach alphabet strips/number strips to desks so they are available for easy reference. Be aware of how information is presented visually. Keep worksheets clear and uncluttered, use half worksheets, use fill-in answers.

18 Be aware of how visually stimulating the environment can be…keep surfaces you wish the child to attend to as clear as possible. Cut out a window in a piece of tag board and use so that only relevant information is visible. If a child has difficulty copying from the chalkboard, he/she may need a model written on a piece of paper or be allowed to sit directly in front of the material.

19 Try different kinds of paper –Handwriting Without Tears paper –With dotted lines –Black lined paper –Graph paper –Custom paper made on computer –Sentence strips rather than paper

20 Make “spaceman” using craft sticks as a spacer between words. Write on graph paper—one letter per space, one space blank between words Teach students to put a dot between words.

21 Helpful Web Sites


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